How is urethral stricture treated?
The treatment for urethral stricture will be decided by the findings on the imaging procedures. Treatment options include:
- Urethral dilation.
- Internal urethrotomy.
- Urethral reconstruction.
With a short stricture, urethral dilatation or internal urethrotomy may be tried first. Under general anesthesia, the urethra is widened using a series of gradually larger dilating instruments and a cystoscope. A urethrotomy is when the cystoscope is used with a special tool to cut the ring of scar tissue and open the area of blockage.
After the procedure, a urethral catheter is usually left in the urethra for three to five days. The most common problem of dilation or urethrotomy is the return of the stricture, but in some cases this procedure may correct the issue. You can expect blood in the urine for a period of time after this or any procedure on the urinary tract.
If dilation or urethrotomy fails and the stricture returns, urethral reconstruction may be needed to obtain a durable result in terms of opening the urethra. In some cases, the urethra is reconstructed by removing the scar tissue and then suturing the ends of the urethra back together, called an urethroplasty. When this is not possible, the urethra may be rebuilt using the lining of the inside of the cheek or skin flaps from the penis or scrotum. This procedure is a different type of urethroplasty. Using these methods, the urethra can be reconstructed in most cases with a good long-term success rates.